News

Commissioner's 'no holds barred' discussion with students

Merseyside / November 15

In the week that marks the first anniversary of her election, Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy invited students to give her their "no holds barred view" of Merseyside Police.

In the week that marks the first anniversary of her election, Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy invited students to give her their "no holds barred view" of Merseyside Police.

The Commissioner met more than 80 students from Hugh Baird College at Bootle Cricket Club on Wednesday to talk about her role and to host an open discussion about policing and community safety issues.

She urged the students, many of whom were studying towards Business, Law or Public Services qualifications, to be "as blunt as you like" with their opinions on policing and community safety during the hour-long session.

Taking questions from the students, the Commissioner talked about response times, complaints, police vetting and the challenges that face officers.

She was also keen to hear what the students thought of stop-and-search, asking for a show of hands from those who had been personally affected and listening to their personal experiences. During the debate, she took time to gauge the students' opinion on the police, with some viewing it as a "them and us” relationship while others speaking of their admiration for officers.

Following the session, Jane said: "Events like this are absolutely invaluable to me.

"They help me to truly understand what young people think of Merseyside Police. Yesterday’s discussion helped me gauge the students’ opinions, learn about their priorities and also address any concerns they may have.

"I welcomed the opportunity to answer their questions and listen to their views on issues such as stop and search, police powers and the relationship between young people and the police. My thanks to Hugh Baird College for their invite.”

The Commissioner has already held similar events with students from Calderstones School and Wirral Grammar School for boys and the students have been invited to participate in the Commissioner's Youth Advisory Group.

The event was filmed by BBC North West and recorded by Radio Merseyside as they followed the Commissioner as she marked a year in post.

To watch the BBC North West News coverage about the Police and Crime Commissioner, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03h6dws/North_West_Tonight_14_11_2013/